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Safe haven

Eagle’s Trace equipped to withstand severe weather

Created date

September 25th, 2015
Eagle's Trace residents and staff
Eagle's Trace residents and staff

Bob Holmes was working as a research engineer when Hurricane Alicia struck the Gulf Coast in August 1983. 

“I had a recording barometer in my office, and it went clear off the chart,” says Bob. “I still have that recording.”

These days, Bob is playing it safe during hurricane season. He moved to Eagle’s Trace in 2012.

“I’m safer here than in a single family home,” says Bob. “When [Hurricane] Ike hit in 2008, I lost power for 13 days.”

Bob recently attended a hurricane preparedness seminar at Eagle’s Trace taught by Facilities Coordinator Tammy Brown.

“The one good thing about tropical storms and hurricanes is that we know when they’re approaching,” says Brown. “We have time to prepare before they hit.”

The community proved the value of its emergency preparedness plan when Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008.

Proven track record

“Eagle’s Trace is not in an evacuation zone,” says Brown. “All the major highways out of Houston were at a standstill during Hurricane Ike, but our residents were safe and secure at Eagle’s Trace. They had what they needed to weather the storm in place.”

Eagle’s Trace is equipped with backup generators to power emergency lighting and necessary medical equipment. The community maintains a two-week supply of food and water on-site, and clubhouse windows are covered with a shatterproof window film.

In the event of severe weather, staff members use Swiftreach, an emergency notification network, to simultaneously contact all apartments at Eagle’s Trace and inform residents of any developments. The community maintains a dedicated phone number for family members to check on loved ones.

“Eagle’s Trace was without power for three days during Ike,” says Brown. The backup generator provided power during that time. “Our residents weathered the storm well. We even had family members of residents staying with us during that time.”

Staying prepared

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. For the 2015 season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts nine named storms, five hurricanes, and one major hurricane.

“Typically, 80% of tropical storms and hurricanes in a year develop during August, September, and October,” says Brown.

To prepare for hurricane season each year, Eagle’s Trace staff members review the community’s emergency preparedness plan.

“Our emergency plan has five levels of action,” says Brown. “We move through those levels as the threat of severe weather becomes more intense. We’re prepared for tropical storms and hurricanes that come our way.”